Virgin Atlantic begins closure of “Little Red” with suspension of Manchester

Virgin Atlantic’s has suspended its “Little Red” short-haul flights between London Heathrow and Manchester as of late March 2015. Virgin Atlantic “Little Red” will continue to fly between London Heathrow and Aberdeen and Edinburgh until Saturday 26 September 2015.

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Airbus A320 aircraft in Virgin Atlantic “Little Red” livery

The winding down of Virgin Atlantic’s short-lived UK domestic operation “Little Red” has started with the London Heathrow – Manchester route now suspended, some two years after it first launched.

Virgin Atlantic’s “Little Red” operation will continue to fly from London Heathrow to Aberdeen and Edinburgh three and six times daily until Saturday 26 September 2015.

It’s also worth adding that holders of Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles can redeem their miles for Virgin Little Red flights from 7,500 miles. Flying Club members can also earn bonus miles on Little Red flights.

What will happen to the “Little Red” Heathrow slots?

Some of the slots used by Little Red were from Virgin Atlantic’s existing slot portfolio, so some will revert back to Virgin Atlantic.

Many of the slots (at least nine) were forfeited by British Airways as a consequence of the acquisition of bmi by its parent company, International Airlines Group.

The trustee appointed to oversee the release of slots has re-advertised the slots. The deadline for applications is 2 April 2015.

If there is no bidder, the slots will revert back to British Airways.

There are no obvious candidates for the slots. However, a potential candidate would be easyJet if it felt inclined to launch flights at Heathrow to support its increased targeting of the business market.

Geoff Golberg vs Virgin Atlantic – Another use of protest tweets

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Virgin Atlantic Logo (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)
Virgin Atlantic Logo (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)

A little over twelve months ago, we wrote of how Hasan Syed used promoted tweets to vent his frustration against British Airways after his father was separated from his luggage on a journey to Paris.

At the time, we speculated that whilst this was a novel use of the promoted tweet facility, it might not be the game changer the extensive media coverage it generated suggested.

In, perhaps, proof of the point, it has taken over a year for another promoted tweet against an airline to catch our attention.

This time it is Virgin Atlantic that is the target of a passenger’s ire.

Step forward Geoff Golberg:

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Virgin Atlantic launches its new TV advertisement “Let It Fly”

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Virgin Atlantic Logo (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)
Virgin Atlantic Logo (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)

Virgin Atlantic’s latest TV advertising campaign bearing the slogan “Let It Fly” launched in the UK this weekend.

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Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural Boeing 787 flight to Boston

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Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Virgin Atlantic has commenced Boeing 787 passenger flights today (Tuesday 28 October 2014) with its inaugural flight from London Heathrow to Boston.

Flight VS11 departed London Heathrow for Boston Logan International Airport shortly after its scheduled departure time of 17:35. Virgin also operated a test flight from London Gatwick to Atlanta on Friday 24 October, which is pictured below.

Whilst today marks the official launch of passenger flights for the Boeing 787, according to Airline Route the 787 will not operate from 31 October to 14 November to allow for crew familiarisation flights.

The replacement of quad-engine Boeing 747s and Airbus A340s at London Heathrow with the twin-engine Boeing 787 is cited as a significant step in restoring Virgin Atlantic to profitability, together with its nascent transatlantic joint-venture with Delta Air Lines. Virgin Atlantic originally ordered 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, with options for 8 aircraft and purchase rights for a further 20 aircraft.

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Virgin Atlantic to end “Little Red” short-haul flights

Virgin Atlantic has announced the closure of “Little Red” short-haul flights from London Heathrow. Flights to Manchester will cease on Saturday 28 March 2015 and flights to Aberdeen and Edinburgh will cease on Saturday 26 September 2015.

London Air Travel » Virgin Atlantic » Page 7

Airbus A320 aircraft in Virgin Atlantic “Little Red” livery

After much press speculation and claims by rivals about poor load factors, Virgin Atlantic has today confirmed it is to close its “Little Red” short-haul operation from London Heathrow.

Flights between London and Manchester will cease on Saturday 28 March 2015.

Flights between London and Aberdeen and Edinburgh will cease on Saturday 26 September 2015.

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Sunday Times: Virgin Atlantic to close “Little Red”

The Sunday Times (of London) has reported on Sunday 7 September 2014 that Virgin Atlantic is to suspend “Little Red” short-haul flights from London Heathrow to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester.

London Air Travel » Virgin Atlantic » Page 7

Airbus A320 aircraft in Virgin Atlantic “Little Red” livery

The business section of today’s Sunday Times leads with a story (subscription required) that Virgin Atlantic is to close its “Little Red” domestic operation from London Heathrow to Manchester, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

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Virgin Atlantic suspends Cape Town, Mumbai, Tokyo and Vancouver

Virgin Atlantic has announced a significant over-haul of its network, suspending a number of non-US routes. Mumbai & Tokyo are suspended from 31 January 2015. Seasonal flights to Vancouver & Cape Town are suspended from 11 October 2014 and 26 April 2015.

London Air Travel » Virgin Atlantic » Page 7

Virgin Atlantic aircraft at London Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic has today announced a major over-haul of its long-haul network, in what is arguably the single biggest chance to its network since the events of 11 September 2001.

Virgin’s year-round services from London Heathrow to Mumbai and Tokyo Narita will be suspended from 31 January 2015.

Virgin’s seasonal flights from London Heathrow to Vancouver and Cape Town will be suspended permanently from 11 October 2014 and 26 April 2015 respectively.

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Virgin Atlantic worldwide sale – Book by 23 September 2014

London Air Travel » Virgin Atlantic » Page 7

Virgin Atlantic Logo (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)
Virgin Atlantic Logo (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)

Virgin Atlantic has today launched a sale across its worldwide network for bookings made by 23 September 2014.

The sale applies to all three of Virgin Atlantic’s cabins, economy, premium economy, and Upper Class and to destinations from both London Gatwick and London Heathrow.

Not all cabins are available on sale for every destination. There are a number of exclusions from premium economy (Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco for example). There are no published sale fares for US destinations in Upper Class.

New York is available in economy from £399 on limited flights and days of the week. Boston and Miami are available from £459. Chicago and Los Angeles are available from £479.

Also, travel dates vary by destination and cabin. In most cases, fares are on sale for travel up to either March or June 2015, with a pre-Christmas travel blackout.

There’s more on the Virgin Atlantic website.

BA is likely to follow suit shortly and BA’s fares can be compared using the BA Low Price Finder.

Edited: Please note that since the launch of this sale Virgin Atlantic has announced the suspension of Tokyo and Mumbai from 31 January 2014 and the permanent closure of seasonal routes to Vancouver and Cape Town from 11 October 2014 and 26 April 2015. There’s more information here.

Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner: Initial seat plans published

London Air Travel » Virgin Atlantic » Page 7

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Virgin Atlantic is readying for the launch of its inaugural Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight from London Heathrow to Boston on 28 October 2014.

Embed from Getty Images

Sir Richard Branson pictured in a mock-up of the Boeing 787, some seven years ago.

The airline has published a microsite detailing its plans.

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ITV to go behind the scenes at Virgin Atlantic

London Air Travel » Virgin Atlantic » Page 7

Virgin Atlantic aircraft at London Heathrow

Television channels do have a habit of moving in packs.

The BBC goes behind the scenes at John Lewis. Channel 4 follows with a documentary about Liberty.

ITV goes behind the scenes at The Savoy. The BBC follows with a documentary about Claridges,

The BBC goes behind the scenes at London Underground, Channel 5 follows with a documentary about First Great Western. As does Sky with East Coast Trains.

After shops, hotels and railways, the BBC turned to British Airways just a short time ago with A Very British Airline.

And now, Virgin Atlantic, never one to allow British Airways to have it all its own way or hog the limelight, has invited The Garden Productions to film behind the scenes at the airline for ITV.

Whilst details are scant at the moment, it is understood that the documentary will be shown later this year and likely subjects could include the launch of Boeing 787 operations.

Update May 2015: We understand that the documentary will be called “Virgin Atlantic – Up In The Air” and a transmission date is imminent.

Update June 2015: Virgin Atlantic “Up In The Air” will premier on ITV at 9pm on Tuesday 7 July.